EDITOR’S NOTE: What better day than Sunday for blasphemy? Before you rip my lifelong friend for what he has written, for what I’m about to post below, all I ask is whether you have the scientific chops, the physicist’s know-how, to disprove his theory. I am not endorsing it. But dismissing it because “that many people could not keep this a secret” is not the proper response.
I’m honestly looking for someone who understands science better than I do (“Yeah, science, Mr. White!”) to disprove his hypothesis. One day after the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I run this not to be a contrarian for the sake of it, but to hopefully elicit a reader response that will at long last bring some clarity and/or resolution to this argument that my friend, a Stanford-educated lawyer who holds a couple of patents in engineering, has long made.
by Michael DePaoli
If you’ve ever wondered how come a helicopter cannot simply hover above the Earth and have the Earth rotate below it, so that simply by hovering you could travel from, say, Los Angeles to Casablanca (roughly the same latitude) there’s a simple explanation: Earth’s atmosphere also rotates.
So when we talk of the Apollo 11 mission in July of 1969, we must understand that outer space is this vast void with no atmosphere and that the Earth’s atmosphere, just like the Earth (and The Eagles’ “Hotel California”) is in constant rotation. Think of physical Earth as the hub of the merry-go-round and the atmosphere as the staging area with all the horsies. Your job as an astronaut is to approach that merry-go-round as it is rotating and climb aboard.
The first step, which happens while the Lunar Module is orbiting the moon, is a maneuver known to NASA as the Trans-Earth Injection. This firing of a rocket is done to put the module on a path for what is known as a “free return trajectory.” In short, the spacecraft is dropping through space right toward the Earth’s atmosphere.
The trick is in the angle of reentry. Come in too perpendicular and you’re going too fast and will burn up (you’ve all seen Apollo 13, I imagine). Come in at too slight of an angle and you’ll skip right back out into space. Imagine trying to slice an orange with the fastest cutting action you’ve ever used and then attempting to stop the blade’s movement before you cut off a wedge of that orange. That’s what we’re talking about.
The Reentry Corridor, that transitional area where the atmosphere yields to outer space, is located some 54 nautical miles above the Earth’s physical surface. After the Trans-Earth Injection, Apollo 11 was purportedly traveling at escape velocity relative to both the Earth and Moon. In other words, at a velocity so great that, having pierced the Reentry Corridor, it would do so once again except on an outbound route once it hit that circumference point again.
So, why did Apollo 11 not just escape? Or, more precisely, how did Apollo 11 traveling at escape velocity after the Trans-Earth Injection (a good name for your next indie band, by the way) recapture the elliptical orbit necessary to use the Re-Entry corridor?
NASA reported in 1969 that upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the altitude of 400,000 feet, Apollo 11 was traveling at precisely the velocity of 24,000 mile per hour with a re-entry insertion angle of precisely negative 6.48 degrees. So how does a vehicle traveling FORTY-TWO TIMES FASTER than a 747 at cruising speed, falling toward Earth due to gravitational pull, manage to avoid skipping back into space while at the same time somehow being able to put on the brakes? Parachutes?
It would seem the safest way to leap onto that moving carousel would be to take a very soft angle toward it (like, you know, 6.48 degrees), but then you’re probably going to miss it and skip right back into space. However, if you come at it too directly, too close to a perpendicular angle, you’re likely going to crash, no? Try running directly at that carousel at full speed, then multiply your full speed by 42, and see what happens.
After re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, what was the terminal velocity of the Apollo 11 Command Module at an altitude of 100,000 feet? We don’t know. NASA never provided it. How did the module decelerate with all the effects of gravity and already having entered the atmosphere traveling 24,000 m.p.h.? And how did the stress placed on the module by such a rapid deceleration not break it apart? Or how did it not incinerate?
It’s a lot easier for news media to call someone a “conspiracy theorist” than it is for just one of them to properly explain how the Lunar Command Module somehow pierced the Earth’s atmosphere at just the proper angle and was also able to decelerate traveling that fast. It’s like that old Bugs Bunny cartoon when his plane is about to crash and it stops two feet before hitting the surface. As Bugs explains, “It ran out of gas.”
Why is it that when it comes to the lunar landings we suspend the scientific method, and we forbid any question to be asked, and we ridicule anyone who might doubt the official story of the Moon missions? Why do lunar landing doubters always focus and refocus and focus again on the Moon photographs when by now it should be painfully obvious that NASA would never be stupid enough to release a bad photo?
When someone does not understand the Trans-Earth Injection nor the Re-Entry Corridor, does that person have the right to proclaim that all lunar landing doubters are lunatics (a word that literally derives from the Latin word for moon, “luna”)?
Not to put too fine a point on it, and these are all secondary points, but in the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission our government was willfully misleading us about the status of the war in Vietnam. It also felt tremendous pressure to beat Russia to the moon as a massive beat in the Cold War stakes (watch the 1968 Robert Altman film Countdown). Is it really that inconceivable that our government, at that time, would mislead its populace? Is it at all dubious to you, with the technological advancements we’ve made in the past half-century and looking back at where tech was in 1969, that we were able to perform this feat, literally an astronomical feat, then but have not even come close to attempting to do so in the past 45 years?
With so many catastrophic events unfolding (e.g. climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the Electric Daisy Carnival), do the Moon landings really matter, anymore?
Seriously, send this list of questions to your astrophysicist friends, or your seventh grade science teachers. Answers! We need answers.
If you want to delve deeper into this issue, you can check out my book, On Being Wrong: Moonfraud. Available on Amazon.